New curbside appeal of a changing Kenmore Avenue

Posted at 9:32 AM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 11:12:18-04

Western New York is buzzing with development.

Almost every community you pass through is undergoing some kind of a transformation and the city line that connects the Town of Tonawanda, the Village of Kenmore, Buffalo, and Amherst is no different.

If you take a look back about 30 years and compare that Kenmore Avenue to the current transformation, you could say it is like night and day.

Three decades ago, train tracks crossed Kenmore near what is now Parker boulevard. The Colvin Theater towered above the community on Kenmore near Colvin.

Courtesy of Buffalo History Works

A full service gas station sat on the corner near Englewood. And right across the street, one of the largest supermarket's in town served as a staple for residents.

Longo's was the place to go for ice cream and curly fries and Grants was THE place to go for just about everything you needed... from thread to hardware, to clothes, to a coffee at the counter.

Courtesy of Nurse Kathy on Pinterest

All that has changed. Let's take a look at Kenmore Avenue now.

One of the most obvious changes is the road itself.

Since 2006, the city has invested more than a hundred million dollars into the roadway and infrastructure improvements.

It has seen several modifications over the years, but none more apparent than the actually curbing.

As you can see by these pictures, the curbing that lines this street in many places is decades old and buried under layers of stones, gravel, cement, and blacktop.

Currently, a federally-funded project that the state contributed to is underway where the curbing is being replaced and sidewalks are being built, in some places for the first time in this streets history.

The final phase of the project, which started in May of 2015, is expected to be complete in the Spring 2016.

Kenmore Avenue was just two lanes, it is now three lanes. One lane going in each direction and a center lane for turning all in an effort to help the increasing traffic flow down one of the area's most traveled streets.

Thirteen years ago the railroad tracks were removed.  Over the past year, any remains of the tracks were removed and it has been replaced with a more than 4-mile bike and walking path.  The path stretches from the tip of North Buffalo through the Town of Tonawanda and into the City of Tonawanda.

Several years ago, Benson Surgical Supply moved out of its Kenmore Avenue location and around the corner on Delaware Avenue in the Village of Kenmore.  The Kenmore Avenue location sat vacant for years.  It has recently been torn down.  No word on what will take its place.

And finally, the supermarket.  Over the years, several markets have occupied a rather large space on the Buffalo side of Kenmore Avenue.  There has been Super Duper, Jubilee, Budwey's, and Dash's.  It is currently being transformed into a storage facility. 

A shopping plaza and supermarket now stand where Grants and a popular night club where all sorts of celebrities popped in over the years used to be.

The face of Kenmore continues to be transformed.